Black sesame is something I'd never heard of until I visited China and Joe picked up some black sesame seed buns for me on the street. I loved it! It had a slight crunch from the seeds and a sweet and nutty flavor. It smells delicious as well.
Sesame seeds come in black, brown and white. The white and brown have a more delicate flavor while the black is the strongest. It's very common in Asian cooking and is high in nutritional value. According to my research, it's high in calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus! And it promotes good digestion!
I asked Cici, who is living in China (and therefore can't see my blog, meh) to bring me some. I later found out it's readily available in the Asian supermarkets here in the powder version, but I was too lazy to look for them, and she had brought me a giant bag of seeds by that point anyway :) Psst. They're also available online!
I made these a while back but it was rainy out and the macs never rose and looked terrible. They still tasted great but you know that only helps a food photographer so much...
Then I made them again and they came out looking fantastic! Joe gobbled down about 5 in one go. He says it's his favorite macaron that I've made. My family quite liked it as well, and I was surprised since the flavor is so unlike anything we're used to. It's definitely different, but in a good way, and it's not an acquired taste by any means.
I decided to try my simple, classic vanilla cream cheese frosting as the filling for these, since I had just made it the same day for something else. It was a delicious combination.
Black Sesame Macarons
2 egg whites
5 tbs granulated sugar
1 cup ground almonds (almond meal)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 tbs black sesame (powdered)
Toast the black sesame seeds on a dry pan (unless you already have it in powdered form) and place a lid on it. This helps to intensify the flavor. Check on it every minute, and once a nutty aroma comes from it, it's ready! Then just grind it into a powder.
Beat the egg whites with the 5 tbs of sugar till stiff. To check if it's macaron-ready, hold the bowl upside down over your head and nothing should move. Then add the almonds, black sesame, and powdered sugar to the bowl and fold it all together. I added black gel food coloring while beating the egg whites (liquid coloring may alter the consistency).
Use a piping bag with a round tip and fill it with the batter. Over parchment paper or a silpat mat, pipe mounds onto the sheet. They can be as big or as small as you like, but I generally do about an inch, and leave an inch of space in between. Try to make them the same sizes so you can match them later!
Leave the pans out in the open to sit for at least 20 minutes or until the tops of the macarons dry.
Bake at 280 degrees F for 15 minutes.
Do not remove from the sheet until it's completely cooled. When removed, match the shells and fill with any filling your heart desires!
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 8oz packet of cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
Beat all this together and set aside.
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Beat this while chilled, until it's got stiff peaks, and fold it into the above mixture.
I'm looking forward to trying more desserts with the black sesame seeds I have left!